Australia’s Blue Mountains

During our road trip from Brisbane to Sydney we made a slight detour to Katoomba, a small town in the heart of the Blue Mountains.

Katoomba is a great place to go for a hike; there are miles and miles of trails. Some run along ridge lines, providing sweeping views of the valleys below.

Soon after starting our walk we spotted a waterfall plunging off a sheer cliff.

Some parts of the trail had been chiseled out of the rock face.

A bit further along, we got up close to the beautiful Wentworth Falls.

Scenic World

The next day we went to Scenic World, an attraction offering cable car and funicular rides and walking paths through the forest.

After buying our tickets we rode the cable car from one side of a gorge to the other. Part of the floor of the cable car was glass; definitely not for those who are scared of heights!

At the other side we took a short walk to see a stone formation that is called the Three Sisters because it is made up of three pillars of eroded rock.

Later we had a ride on the incline railway, purportedly the steepest passenger railway in the world. This ride took us from the top of the canyon to the forest floor below.

In the early 1900s a coal mine operated in the area. The incline railway carried coal during the week and tourists on the weekends.

We peered in the old coal mine and the kids took turns ‘riding’ a statue of a horse pulling a coal cart.

Next we walked along the boardwalks through the forest. In one area there was an art exhibition.

The pieces of artwork were integrated into the forest in different ways.

Many of the pieces provided commentary on environmental issues. This installation was made of discarded fluorescent light bulbs.

Later the kids got to create their own works of art combining items from nature and materials including pipe cleaners and yarn.

After riding all of the railways and cable cars at Scenic World we went for a walk to the top of Katoomba Falls.

The Blue Mountains are so named because the combination of water vapor and eucalyptus oils in the air create a bluish haze.

At sunset we made our way to aptly named Sublime Point.

Red Hands Cave

The next day we departed Katoomba and headed towards Sydney. Along the way we made a stop to see the Red Hands Cave.

To reach the cave we drove through the forest on a winding dirt track to the trail head. Then, we made the short hike to the cave.

Within the cave (actually more like a shallow rock overhang) we saw red and white hand stencils made by indigenous peoples, some of which may be over 1500 years old.

We enjoyed the solitude of the forest as well as the ancient artwork!

In our next update, come with us as we travel to the red center of Australia!

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